Minor League Notes: Felix Doubront rounding into form
Once ranked as Boston’s 6th best prospect, Felix Doubront is trying to put a disappointing 2014 in the rear-view mirror and on the road back to the Major Leages. Doubront lost his starting gig with Boston and wasn’t happy about being relegated to the bullpen. It was his refusal to embrace a new role in the bullpen that sealed his fate with the Red Sox and on July 30th, 2014 he got traded to Chicago (NL).
Chicago, like the Blue Jays, were hoping that a change of scenery was all the lefty pitcher would need to get back on track. He went 2-1 with a 3.98 and a very uninspiring 1.43 WHIP in 4 starts with the Cubs. He struggled with his control (7 walks) and wasn’t missing many bats (22 hits in 20.1IP). It came as no surprise that the inconsistent 27-year-old got released by the Cubs at the end of Spring Training after being awarded 1.925 million in January’s arbitration hearing, well that and his abysmal spring number couldn’t have helped either.
With the loss of Marcus Stroman and a lack of major league ready pitching depth, Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris notwithstanding, the Toronto Blue Jays took a flier on him. Well so far it looks as though their gamble has paid off.
The Ex-Cub/Ex-Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront is rounding into form down on the farm. Doubront has pitched very effectively in 4 outings with the Triple-A Buffalo Bison despite being winless.
He’s allowed one earned run in 22 innings of work. The 6 foot 2 native of Carabobo, Venezuela has done a good job of missing bats collecting 15 whiffs. During his time with Boston and Chicago, Felix averaged 7.9 K/9, which is the same amount of strike outs over his 9 minor seasons. Therefore, we can expect him to improve on his 6.0 K/9 he is currently sporting with the Herd.
His velocity sits around 88 to 92 on his fastball/sinker/cutter combo. His curve looks like it still needs some tightening up, but it’s keeping batter honest. In his start, he consistently worked down in the zone and appeared to have good command of the strike zone. He got squeezed on a few calls by the plate umpire which resulted in one of his two walks. He threw 63 of 102 balls for strikes, which is about average.
Doubront may need a bit more refining before he gets the call to join the Blue Jays starting rotation (0.78 GO/AO), but it’s clear that he is rounding into form and provides Alex Anthopoulos with a viable Triple-A option should a spot in the rotation open up.
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RHP Miguel Castro left his last start after 1.1IP and was placed on the 7-day DL after suffering a hand injury. The extent of the injury is unknown but he has an appointment with a hand specialist, so that can’t be good sign.
Minor league veterans 1B Daric Barton and OF Alex Hassan were added to the Bisons roster.